3 Warning Signs Your Heating Unit Is About to Go Out
January has finally brought some colder temperatures to Georgia, and we know some of you are enjoying the coziness of the season. If this is the first time you're really using your home's heating system, you may start to wonder if your furnace is operating efficiently, especially as those utility bills start coming. To help take some of the guesswork out for you, here are three common signs your heating unit might need repairs or a full replacement.
Sign #1: Your Utility Bill Is Unusually High
We've all been here: you open your utility bill and your eyes pop while your mouth drops open. High utility costs are an expected hit to the wallet of homeowners during the hottest and coldest months of the year. But what if your bill is excessively high? It's time to play detective.
Check all the windows and door seals in your home for gaps or cracks, as those could be allowing that comfortable and costly air out of your home. Check the filters on your home's HVAC unit. Changing these filters regularly allows circulated air to move freely and evenly throughout your home. If your home has a gas-powered furnace, check the natural gas usage amount on your utility bill. A steady increase in the amount of gas used is normal during the winter months, but if the amount used seems too high, especially compared to usage even a year ago, it may be that your furnace is having to burn more fuel to try to keep your home comfortable. This increase in fuel could be due to the age of the furnace, faulty internal components, or other maintenance that needs to be performed (going back to that filter!). If your utility costs are getting out of control (and out of budget), it might be worth having furnace repairmen from Shumate out to your home for an inspection and recommendation on how best to lower your utility costs.
Sign #2: Everyone in the House Isn't Feeling Well
Now, this could be a more tricky one to pinpoint, thanks to not only the time of year but also the state of the entire world right now. However, if everyone in your home is feeling like they've been hit with a bad case of the flu or a stomach bug, there is a chance that you're dealing with carbon monoxide leak. If your heating unit has not had regular maintenance done or is close to 15-20 years old, it is very possible that a carbon monoxide leak could be occurring.
If you suspect your home has a carbon monoxide leak, install a carbon monoxide detector (following the product directions for proper installation). You will quickly be able to detect and confirm if a leak is happening. If the detector confirms there is a leak, get out into fresh air and call 911. Emergency response teams can safely identify where the leak is coming from (there are other potential sources in your home, like a gas stove or fireplace) and can then turn off or contain the leak so that you can safely reenter your home. If it is confirmed that your furnace was the source of the carbon monoxide leak, schedule an appointment with Shumate ASAP to have one of our HVAC repair contractors out to your home quickly to repair the heating unit and have your home safely heated again.
Sign #3: Your Heating Unit (or Your Home) Is Over 20 Years Old
Are you confidently able to say exactly how old your HVAC unit is? Unless you built your current home, were the homeowner of your current home when the HVAC was replaced, or the previous owner of your home kept impeccable records, you likely fall into the category most homeowners do: you have no idea how old the unit is. We understand! Your HVAC unit age is not exactly something you keep track of. (We can safely say we've never had a customer tell us they've celebrated every HVAC unit's birthday.)
If you think your HVAC unit might be close to two decades of use, it's worth the climb into the attic to try to read the manufacturer label on the unit. Just like with aging cars, you will come to a point where you must decide if the cost of maintenance and repairs (and don't forget utility costs!) would be cheaper than completely replacing your unit. If you're unsure of the age of your HVAC system or just want an expert opinion on the efficiency of your system, schedule an appointment with one of Shumate's HVAC technicians. We are happy to help you determine the best route forward!
If your home's heating system is showing any of these signs, or you've noticed other signs or behaviors that are worrying, don't hesitate to give us a call! Our certified Shumate technicians and Shumate comfort advisors are ready to help you keep your home warm and comfortable this winter, without breaking the bank. A Shumate preventative maintenance plan for your home's HVAC system is another cost-effective step you can take to make sure your current heating and cooling systems provide years of service to your home. Just ask us about our preventative maintenance plan when you call!